I asked them to do their favorite throw and they all looked really good. When I said, "Go!" they went right to it, did it without hesitation and good technique.
Next, I asked them to do a set-up to their favorite throw, and then throw. This took a little more thought and they hesitated quite a lot at the beginning of the throw. That, of course, is bad, because your opponent is not just going to stay in position, waiting around for you to throw.
After we had practiced that for a while, I had them do a set-up, followed by their favorite throw, followed by a combination.
Here is an example of this drill with Bradley, who is 11 years old.
Now, he did not do it nearly as well as Crystal, who is a 19-year-old black belt, but he did it pretty well for someone who had just been practicing this for a few minutes.
The point, I told them, is to not be hesitating thinking about what you are going to do, but to practice it so much that you can do it without thinking. Crystal seconded that, saying that often after she has won a much by ippon, people will ask her what throw she did and she'll respond,
"I don't know. A hard one. Where they fell down."
She demonstrates the end result of this drill. Over a period of time, it becomes automatic.
Take away lesson of today: Don't practice your throws in isolation.